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Tech-savvy crosswalk helps both drivers and pedestrians stay alert

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The experimental concept from South Korea uses a series of signals and alarms to raise traffic awareness

Photo of human crossing street at night Photo: Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology via New Atlas

With pedestrian safety posing an ongoing challenge to cities around the world, a new solution from South Korea Korea places the onus for awareness on both drivers and walkers.

The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has designed an experimental high-tech crosswalk that alerts drivers and pedestrians to each others’ presence.

The engineers use a thermal imaging camera to detect when a pedestrian is nearing a crosswalk. In response, it illuminates both sides of the crosswalk with LED lights that can be seen from 160 feet away, giving drivers a visual signal that someone is crossing the street. At 98 feet from the crosswalk, the driver get another warning in the form of a blinking electronic sign.

Person holding app with warning signal on screen Photo: Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology via New Atlas

Meanwhile, the engineers also crafted a series of alarms that alert pedestrians to oncoming cars. When a vehicle is traveling faster than 6 mph, the system will project an image onto the ground in the crosswalk, alerting anyone who might be looking down as they cross. A loud alarm will also sound and an app will cause the pedestrian’s phone to vibrant, providing a heads up of oncoming traffic.

KICT is currently testing the system at a local crosswalk, where it’s reportedly seen promising results—83.4 percent of drivers (out of 1,000) became aware of the pedestrian and lowered their speed. KICT will continue to test and refine its system before a wider rollout.

Via: New Atlas